…says Buhari’s administration committed to drive sector
By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja
The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Architect Olamilekan Adegbite, Monday, wooed potential Russian investors to the nation’s mining sector with ongoing reforms and incentives in the sector.
This was contained in a statement signed by the Special Adviser on Media to the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Ayodeji Adeyemi, where Adegbite made the enormous mineral resources in the country known at a pre-summit meeting preceding the three-day Russia-Africa Economic Summit, holding in Sochi, Russia, from October 23-24, 2019.
He assured investors of President Muhammadu Buhari’s attention, political will and commitment to drive the sector based on the economic diversification thrust of his administration.
According to him, the nation had several stocks of minerals that could kick start a boom in the mining industry that would be profitable to investors, which he assured the investors that the nation was a prime destination for mining activity in the continent.
He also maintained that the level of commitment by the President to the sector since 2015 cannot be compared with his predecessors in attracting investors to the sector.
H e said: “The President of Nigeria has demonstrated a strong resolve to diversify the economy. My ministry’s policy thrust is to carry out Mr. President’s mandate, creating a value chain in the mining sector that would ultimately benefit the citizens. We want to assure our prospective investors that all our reforms shall be steeped in global best practices
“The Roadmap for the Growth and Development of the Nigerian Mining Industry provides us a broad pathway for the transformation of the industry. The ministry does not intend to deviate from the laid down implementation trajectory except if it becomes exceedingly imperative to take certain actions that could fast track the reforms.
“Mining has been identified in the Economic Recovery Growth Plan ERGP as a promising sector that could sufficiently contribute to the diversification of the revenue base, create jobs and broaden the range of opportunities in the Nigerian Economy.
“To this end, the ministry has been working hard to increase the revenue generated from the sector and its contribution to the national GDP. The sector is also being primed to be a huge job creator, broadening the spectrum of economic opportunities available to Nigerians through the pursuit of strategic policies.”
The Minister also said effort is being made by the government to retrieve Nigeria’s colonial geological data from the United Kingdom by engaging the British Geological Survey (BGS), to build a national electronic geo-data archiving management system to be called the Nigerian Geo-data Centre at the Nigerian Geological Survey Agency (NGSA).
“This would provide easy access to geoscience data for prospective investors on potential areas to target for exploration and mining within and outside Nigeria. The BGS will also integrate historical geo-data of Nigeria in NGSA and the National Steel Raw Materials Exploration Agency (NSRMEA) into the system”, he added.
Meanwhile, corroborating what the Minister had earlier said, the Director-General, Mining Cadastre Office, MCO, Engr Obadiah Nkom, said with the Minister being at the helms of affair in the Ministry the nation’s mining sector will soon be a major attraction of investments and investors in Africa.
“The mining sector is now ready to be the key driver of the diversification agenda of Mr. President. With what the minister is doing and saying foreign investors are quite excited about the mining sector”, Nkom said.